RUSI Outlines UK’s Cyber Security Strategy Post-2021

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As the cyber security threat continues to evolve as state and non-state actors continue to shift and morph as threats diversify, the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) are exploring the next period in the UK’s national cyber security programme.

As the UK is currently operating on the National Cyber Security Programme 2017-21, the next stage will require a radical overhaul to help fix the many shortcomings that are hampering the UK’s continual effort to stem cyber crime activities.

RUSI believes more investment in STEM, greater academic focus with more Academic Centres of Excellence along with greater powers for the National Cyber Security Centre are a good start but more is required.

According to RUSI:

“While it may seem an indulgence to focus on norms and not purely on technology, the reasoning lies not in pure abstraction, but in the recognition that the liberal view is under direct challenge from a competing political belief set, Cyber Sovereignty. Championed by Russia and China, this view directly disputes the multi-stakeholder model that has so far been effective in governing cyberspace, calling instead for direct and exclusive management of cyberspace by nation states.

This viewpoint poses a direct threat to the type of cyberspace that was not only originally created by liberal states and underpinned by liberal values, but also any future cyberspace. A cyberspace that seeks to preserve open access to information and be used as a tool not only of economic prosperity but also of human enrichment through connection, education, creativity and expression is now under severe challenge by other political actors; the next cyber security strategy needs to acknowledge not simply a state of uncertainty – as it did in 2011 – but that the liberal view for cyberspace is now undoubtedly under threat.

For a cyber security strategy beyond 2021 to be fit for purpose necessitates not only building on the resiliency efforts established this decade, it will also require a recognition of the threat that Cyber Sovereignty poses to the stability of cyberspace itself. Tackling this international dynamic could well prove the biggest dynamic to reconcile in UK policy circles.”

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